Jan 31, 2010

Stackin' Up

Emily stands next to her tall tower!

After Sunday lunch, Emily decided to help Kensley (pictured behind Em) play with building blocks.  It wasn't long before Emily was trying to see if she could build a tower taller than she is.  It took nearly every block they had, but she finally achieved her goal!  She was very proud.

Daily Photo (Emily Does Karaoke)

Emily watches videos, sings along

This morning, Emily fired up a netbook and began pulling up her favorite singers.  She donned headphones and sang along to each song.  Included in her version of "Top 40:" Miley Cyrus "Party in the USA," Selena Gomez "Naturally," Taylor Swift "You Belong With Me" and "Fifteen," and Carrie Underwood "All-American Girl." There were others, but my memory fails to recall them.  There is nothing quite as sweet and entertaining as listening to a 7 yr old sing at the top of her lungs because she doesn't realize how loud she is with headphones on!

Jan 30, 2010

Daily Photo (It's what's for supper)

The Pepperoni Double-Stack
When Shan and I first got married, somehow we managed to come up with this concoction.  Every once in a while, we get in the mood to have it again.  Tonight was one of those times!  

The secret is to use CHEAP pizzas - we like Tostino's.  Take two small pizzas and cook them to within about 3 minutes of being fully cooked.  When the pizzas are ready, take them out of the oven.  Place additional pepperonis on one of them and top it with "pizza blend" shredded cheese.  Then, flip the non-modified pizza over and onto the other one (like a pizza sandwich!).  Take more of the cheese and sprinkle generously on the "top" of the sandwich and cover with more pepperoni.  Bake the sandwich for about 3 more minutes (until cheese melts).  Remove from oven and let sit for 3-5 minutes before slicing and eating.

Oh, yeah! This is the good stuff!

Jan 29, 2010

Daily Photo (Ice, Ice, Maybe) and then some

I took this picture this morning outside our front door.
Much of the northern 2/3 of Arkansas got hit hard with rain, sleet and snow.  Those of us in the southern part of the state mainly got rain.  Due to the cold temps, though, overnight, the rain managed to freeze itself to trees.  On the way home from work, I noticed most of the tree were free of ice until I got closer to home.  The closer I got to the house, the more ice I saw on treetops and branches.  

I don't think we will much of anything overnight.  Initially, there were calls for more rain, some sleet and even snow flurries hitting around 3am or so tomorrow.  Everything looks like it will pass out around us (as most storms seem to do for our neck of the woods), and we will see a light freezing of the water that fell during the day.

Now, I know that people who are snowed in may be wishing they had what we have, but I was really hoping we'd see some snow.  I grew up in Western PA, lived in Colorado and Northern Virginia and I miss the white stuff in the winter. Yeah, it's a pain in the butt to deal with, but there is nothing like opening the front door and seeing everything covered in a soft, white blanket.

Unless you've been living in Amish Country or just don't pay much attention to anything tech-related, you know that Apple's new iPad is generating a LOT of talk. Some people see it as the death of netbooks while others see it as nothing more than an over-sized toy.

My take on this is simple: I wrote the bulk of my novel-in-progress on a MacBook and netbook.  There is no way I would attempt 50,000+ words on an iPad-type device.  In fact, I sort of have already.  


Back in 2007, I received a Samsung Q1.  I looked back through old posts on here, and a quick looksie indicates I made ONE post regarding this "great, new" technology.  Why only one?  Because that's how long I enjoyed using the thing.  The number one issue?  Typing.  It was just too much of a pain to use as an everyday piece of equipment.  I see the iPad suffering the same fate.  It's too big to be taken seriously as a toy and too cumbersome to be taken seriously as a legitimate business tool.

The netbook fits the bill perfectly for most people: I can write a novel or I can play goofy games.  

Instead of questions like, "Will the iPad replace netbooks," people should be asking, "Is the iPad Apple's biggest flop since Newton?"  Now, THAT'S a question worth answering.  Oh, and for the record, I am not a "Windows-flunkie" nor am I a "Mac Fanboy."  I love using both technologies.  In fact, this entry is being composed on an Apple MacBook.  So save your childish name-calling for the playground.  Thanks.

Daily Photo (Havin Cake)

Shan and Emily made cake!

On Thursday, Shan and Emily got together and made a lemon-flavored pound cake in a bundt pan.  I have to say, it was delicious!  The glaze is a cream cheese/sugar combo.  Oh yeah!  Calories?  Who cares!

Jan 28, 2010

Daily Photo (FLIP-pin' Marchin' Orders)

Ready to move out!

On Wednesday, I had a pair of Flip cams on my desk that I had used to recently record a mini training session for Arkansas Dept of Education's upcoming iTunesU program.  As it turns out, other Flip cams were close by, so I grabbed a couple of them and set this up.  After I uploaded the picture, I noticed that the third little guy appears to have turned at just the right moment to get caught looking at the camera - with red-eye and everything.  What a hoot!

Jan 27, 2010

Apple's iPad - Cool and not-so-much in one fell swoop

This is my take on the Apple reveal today.  I was not there live, instead I watched it via live bloggers and video from various sources.

Steve Jobs, et al, showed off their new "not-quite-a-tablet" computing device:  The iPad. Yes.  Let that soak in a moment (no pun intended).  Does it look kinda familiar?  It should.  It's basically a big iPod Touch with some "bonus features" thrown in.

See the "home key" on the right?  Just like it's little brother.  One new feature is pop-down/pop-out menus, which make getting to settings inside apps easier.  The screen size (9.7 inches)  provides for a nice viewing area, considering there are no frills with which to be distracted.  The unit comes with a microphone, speakers, WiFi, Bluetooth, and standard 30-pin apple connector.  For $150 more than the asking price, one can also add 3G cellular surfing from AT&T ($14.99/250 MB per month or $29.99 for unlimited - no contracts).

Much of the beginning demo featured Mr. Jobs hanging out in his chair, showing different apps on the big screen: browsing the web, watching a video in HD, reading email, etc.  At one point, some software people came out to talk about the "new" platform.  To me, the NY Times had the best showing.  They rewrote their iPhone app for the iPad and it looks like a newspaper:

One of the cool things about it was the embedded video within an article.  Talk about marrying technologies.  EA did a demo of "Need for Speed: Shift," but frankly, it was like watching any other demo.  Nothing jaw-dropping there so far as I could tell.
The interface sports a qwerty keyboard that fills about half the screen, but as you can see, the keys are HUGE for such a little screen.  The presenters talked about iTunes, YouTube, Facebook, etc.  They also showed off their version of eReader: iBooks.  Now, THAT looked cool.  It actually looks like you are holding a book, with "pages" and even the illusion of a cover.  The iBookstore works like iTunes, so it will be easy for folks to pick up on that.

So, how much is this over-sized iPod Touch? 

As I said, add $150 in each category for the 3G access.

The real question is whether or not people are going to buy this thing.  I already have an iPod Touch, and while the prospect of having a much bigger screen is nice, I can't see running out to buy one.  It has NO usb ports and NO memory card reader.  Some people are complaining that it has no camera.  Maybe not, but I don't really see that as a huge drawback, considering what it is being used for.  Though, a user-facing camera would be nice for conferencing, I suppose.  It turns out there may be a device (here) that will add an SD slot and USB to the iPad, so who knows.  I am hoping to convince my boss we need one to demo/try out.  I think it is worth looking at, especially for education use.  Of course, schools could buy twice as many 8GB iTouches for the money as they could iPads, so I'm not sure it's worth it even then.

On, Plurk, there was a pros/cons discussion.  Here is food for thought:

  • runs all iPhone apps
  • iphoto, itunes, iWorks
  • HD video, runs iPhone apps, easy to hold, smooth operation
  • keyboard looks cool
  • 10 hour battery life
  • sleeps for a month
  • it is not a netbook!
  • 3G models (assume with AT&T, of course) "Two awesome plans for iPad owners. The first one gives you 250MB of data a month for $14.99. We have an unlimited plan for just $29.99 a month."  No contract, prepaid.
  • $499 - $699 pricing. :-o Much less than I would have expected from Apple
  • NY Times Newspaper layout actually looks like newspaper and has embedded video.
  • the name
  • probably price..
  • It's a big iPod Touch. If I have one, is there really compelling reason to buy this?
  • It's a tablet.
  • data plan w/AT&T leaves out rural areas. It's just for the big city folks 
  • So far, no mention of multitasking...
  • should have been called iSlate. Apple likes one-syllable names after the i.
  • How fragile are these?
  • No USB, No SD card slot

*images edited from Engadget's live posting of the event.  Visit their whole take on it here:

Jan 26, 2010

Daily Photo (Lookin Good, Furball!)

"Lookin' Good, Furball"

Emily asked that her kitty, wearing a pink hat, be the daily photo.  She then said, "Call it 'Lookin Good, Furball!'"  How could I resist?

A little distraction

Sometimes, I find things online that actually hold my attention longer than a few minutes.  And, thanks to friends and colleagues, I don't always have to go find those things myself...  Here are a couple of my favorite "distractions:"

"Distracted By Star Wars" - http://dbsw.tumblr.com/
"Photoshop Disasters" - http://photoshopdisasters.blogspot.com/
KUDO, game authoring from Microsoft - http://fuse.microsoft.com/kodu/
"Where are you in the movie?" - http://www.amberdigital.com/where/

I've got more, but I'll have to compile a list of them. Maybe it will become one of my infamous "40 Things" lists.  Yes, I could name 40, I'm sure. I am easily distracted.

(from Distracted by Star Wars)

Jan 25, 2010

Daily Photo (Into the Candy Jar)

Looking into the face of sweetness

Do you see what I see?  Smarties, peppermint, even chocolate if you look hard enough.  The little root beer barrels have been there since nineteen-aught-six.  No one eats those.  We should throw those away. Really.  But we can't bring ourselves to do that.  That would be wasteful.  I'm going in for the fireball. Wish me luck.

Daily Photo (Light Reading)

(A little light reading?)

This is "supposed" to be my photo for Sunday, since I missed posting yesterday.  The books are actually on my bookshelf at work.  And, yes, the are stacked vertically.  And, no, I haven't actually read them all.  I have, however, used each as a reference for one thing or another.   I'm not even sure some of those would be any good whatsoever at this point.  ASP scripting is bye-bye.  The Exchange books are actually for the previous version than we have.  I think we've upgraded the 2000 servers to 2003.  What's funny to me is that the stack is nearly in a chronological order. Start with ASP scripting and end with Podcasting and Windows Development... Er, well, the WinDev book is pretty old.  Yeah, there is no order in this library!

Jan 24, 2010

What do I do while watching football?

While watching football today, my brain wandered off somewhere, and this was the result:

"Plurkthumping" (A parody of "Tubthumping") by David Henderson, 2010

(we'll be Plurking, sometimes lurking, yeah we're Plurking)
I go online, and I sign in again
Cannot keep my karma down

I go online, and I sign in again
You cannot keep my karma down

I Plurk online, and on my phone again
You'll never keep my karma down

I plurk online, oh yes I'm here again
I cannot keep my karma down

(Plurking the night away, Plurking the night away)
I'm plurking what I think, You're plurking what you think
We're plurking everything, we're all online again

We share the things we can use in the classroom
We post the things we're cleaning with a big broom
(Oh, karma's good, karma's good, karma's good)

I plurk online, so I sign in again
I gotta check my timeline

I plurk online, and on my phone again
Because I cannot get away

I try to sleep, but I get up again
Plurkin from dusk till dawn

I'm plurking now, and I'll plurk again
I cannot keep my karma down

(Plurking the night away, Plurking the night away)
I'm plurking while I drink, I'm plurking what I think
I'm plurking 'bout my sink, I'm plurking anything

I'm plurking songs and videos and dumb rhymes
My friends (eyeroll) me all the time!
(don't hide from me, my plurking neighbor)

We go online, and then we plurk again
Can't let karma go down

We're here online, and then we plurk again
Sharing what we've found

We plurk online, edit profile again
Changing our backgrounds

We're plurking now, and then we'll plurk again
Makin friends from all around

My karma's down, I get it up again
I'm never gonna keep it down

We're signing in, so we can post again
plurking all over town

I go online, checking my fans again
Plurking what we've found

Got (ninja) now, I'll use it again
Got my smileys all around

(repeat til end or until you pass out, whichever comes later)

(Tubthumping is this song: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2H5uWRjFsGc)

Cleaning up my Inbox, Troubleshooting the CyberSmart Toolbar, and seeing the tooth fairy

Someone in my online network (sorry, can't quite recall who it was) posted a link to an article for ways to make oneself more productive at work.  One of the tips was to make sure that your Inbox was cleaned out everyday.  This involved deleting junk/old messages one did not need and using folders to organize the messages on DOES need.  It took me just under two hours (considering I was answering email and phone calls during the process), but I finally managed to get my work Inbox down from over 5200 messages to 7 (yes, seven) messages. 

I realize I could have emptied the Inbox completely, but I am not quite that organized.  I prefer to keep "in progress" messages in the Inbox so I can monitor responses etc without searching through the myriad of folders I had created.  As replies come in, I either move the older messages or I delete them (depending on the need).

And, I have to admit, it is so much nicer seeing a handful of messages rather than seeing a list that went on forever and ever.  If your Inbox is out of control, take time to organize your email, create rules to move incoming messages (from subscriptions, etc), and hopefully you will much less overwhelmed, too!

At work, Phoebe installed the uber-handy "CyberSmart Toolbar" (found here: http://www.cybersmarttoolbar.com/) for Internet Explorer.  The toolbar has bookmarks built-in for education-related sites and tools.  It also has one drawback: It updates itself.  Oh, I know, you're thinking, "how could that be bad?"  The answer: It tries to update itself as soon as IE launches.  This means that you may be sitting at a hotel (or a school) that requires you to login to the wireless network before getting anywhere online.  In the case of the toolbar, CyberSmart tries to update but it can't because the network has not granted you access yet.  Instead of timing out, though, the toolbar creates a "Program Not Responding" issue in IE.

How do you cure this?  Relatively easily.  Go to Control Panel > Internet Options > Programs > Manage Add Ons.  In the list of add-ons, scroll until you find CyberSmart Toolbar and choose "DISABLE."  Click "OK" several times to get back out of that area.  Once you've done that, you can fire up IE and connect to the local network. 

Here's the kicker: Once you've connected to the local network the first time, you can go back into control panel and re-ENABLE the toolbar.  This works because once you've attached to the hotel's (or school's) network, the toolbar can find the connection and check for updates.

Another possible solution: I have not checked yet, but if there is a setting in the toolbar to "Check for Updates" or "Update Automatically," you might be able to turn off that feature, thus eliminating the whole issue in the first place.  If you're using the toolbar, let me know if there such a setting. Thanks.

Yesterday (Saturday), we hopped in the car and headed to Texarkana.  Emily and Shan were looking for shoes, and we decided we would go see a movie.  We chose to see "The Tooth Fairy."  I know a lot of people are not happy with "The Rock" doing these kid-friendly movies, but I think it shows a great responsibility on his part to make movies his kids can see.

I won't give too much away, since it just came out and all, but the movie has its share of funny moments.  No surprise, Billy Crystal's short appearance in the flick is funny, even if it is tantamount to an iPod commercial within the film.  There is a nice balance of comedic set-ups and sentimental moments.  Of course, one of the highlights for me comes in the way of The Rock's car: a little red Corvette (even though it 'gurgles' to a stop when he turns it off, which I have never personally heard a 'Vette do). 

Julie Andrews brings her style of class and reserved humor to the film, too.  There is a tall, lanky guy that serves as The Rock's case worker.  Being a hockey fan, I enjoyed the rink-related scenes, even if they were more than a bit over-the-top (glass-smashing, tooth-losing scene).  I enjoyed the movie and will most likely want to add it to our home collection once it's available.  I am sucker for feel-good family movies that make you laugh and, ultimately, make you want to believe in the things you did as a child.

As with nearly every family movie, you know the 'general' ending from the start, but getting there is why we go to the movies in the first place. 

Daily Photo (Good Things come ... from the printer?)

Now, if MIT can just work the bugs out of their food printer....

I was working near our home computer yesterday, trying to solve a printing problem with the MacBook I am using.  While sitting there, the printer started whirring and when it printed, the recipe above came out!  I've seen these molten cakes at restaurants, and Shan told me that she and Emily are going to make some at home!  I'm looking forward to the taste-testing!

*FYI - I am serious about the food printer from MIT.  Here's an article about it: http://blog.makezine.com/archive/2010/01/mits_food_printer.html and other articles can be found by searching for "MIT Food Printer" into your favorite search engine.

**Yes, this is a day late for a Daily Photo.  This is actually Saturday's picture.

Jan 22, 2010

Plurkless (a parody of "Shameless")

One of my Plurk friends (Oretha) wrote a post that simply said, "Plurkless tonight."  Well, if you know how my mind works, you probably can guess how long it took before I started writing the words to a new parody.  Exactly.  Here is the rough final draft.  Wait, what's a "rough final draft?"  That means it was written in one take (with a slight pause during housecleaning) and will mostly stand on its own without revision.  It was a lot of fun to write!

"Plurkless" - a parody of "Shameless," by David Henderson (c)2010

Well I'm Plurkless, when it comes to posting too
I'll plurk anything you want me to
I'll plurk anything at all

And I'm posting, here for all the world to see
Oh Plurkers, just what's left in me
Not plurking much at all

You know now I'm not a man whose ever been
Insecure about the plurks I've been putting in
I blank so easy, I can not write
But if you need me to plurk tonight

I'm plurkless. Plurkville, I don't have a prayer
Every thread I'm reading there
I scroll down, pressin on my keys

And I'm changing, swore I'd update profiles
Oh, but then you plurked me otherwise
I'll post anything, oh please

You see, in all my life I've never found
A plurk I couldn't resist, or one to turn down
I just plurk away to everyone I ever knew
But I can't seem to plurk a few

I have never let karma take this much control of me
I plurk too late to call my life my own
And I've writ so many words and I've plurked so perfectly
But in this world now, I can't refuse
I've got karma I cannot lose
Oh, I'm plurkless

You know it should be easy since I've plurked so long
To write what I'm thinking or to make up a song
I've never lost karma and I won't desist
'Cause I've never had to plurk like this

It's all over my screen.

I'm plurkless, I don't have the power now
I can't find it anyhow
So I'll read plurks and I'll go.

Oh, I'm plurkless, plurkless as a fan can be
It's making a big fool of me
I'll plurk ya later, don't you know.

Oh, I'm Plurkless,
I'll plurk ya later don't you know
Oh, I'm plurkless,
oh, cant even see my keys

Daily Photo (Oh, yeah, I did it!)

Oh yeah! I did it!

When I started the National Novel Writing Month contest, I wondered if I would stick it out and go through and make it to the end.  Several times throughout the month (the contest is held each November), I saw word count plateau as the deadline loomed.  Then, I would push through and flatline, repeat.  When I finally pushed through the 50,000 word mark, it was one of the greatest feelings of accomplishment ever!  When the sponsors offered shirts to winners, I knew I had to get one!  Now, I just have to finish the novel....

I don't care who you are, this is funny!

A member of my Professional Learning Network posted this and I just had to share (you may have to click on it to read it, sorry):

Jan 21, 2010

Daily Photo (They're Here!)

They're here! Kevin's plays!

Kevin Honeycutt has two plays available on LuLu.com (http://stores.lulu.com/kevinh).  He ordered my book and I wanted to return the favor, plus I've never read a play (that I can remember), so I thought this would be a great way to do both!  Well, they arrived today and I cannot wait to dig into them while riding the exercise bike!

Jan 20, 2010

Daily Photo (Are you lookin' at me?)

Hey, are you lookin' at me!?

Since Tyler had baseball practice tonight and I knew the rains were coming, I thought I would make a quick stop at the nearby carwash to hose off all the gunk that got sprayed on my car this morning.  I was behind a truck hauling chunks of cement.  It was drizzling.  Add the two together and you get that weird cement-colored glue that ends up all over your car!

I took this photo with my camera phone, and the phone hates lights.  In this case, it's a love-hate relationship.  The car almost looks like it has just come screeching up to a halt.  (insert Tim Allen 'grunt' here)

40 Shuffled Songs on my iPod Touch

I haven't done a "40 Things" list in a while, and I thought it might be fun to fire up my iTouch and jot down the names of the first 40 songs that come up as I shuffle through my playlist.  That is, I listed all songs, tapped "Shuffle" then used the "next song" button.  I tell people that I "listen to anything," but a lot of folks don't quite understand what that really means in my world.  Let's see if I can help show what it means!
  1. "Beautiful Girl (Demo)" - Michael Jackson
  2. "Before He Cheats" - Carrie Underwood
  3. "Dancing Machine (Single Version)" - Michael Jackson
  4. "You are not alone" - Michael Jackson (I'm sensing a pattern here)
  5. "I ran so far away" - Flock of Seagulls
  6. "Away in a  manger" - Blaine Larsen (Yes, I still have some Christmas music on there)
  7. "Dinosaurs and Rockets Theme" - Kevin Honeycutt, et al (WAHOO! That is cool!)
  8. "Call Me Al" - Paul Simon (one of the funniest videos ever)
  9. "Here for the party" - Gretchen Wilson
  10. "Break My Stride" - Matthew Wilder (the epitome of one-hit wonder)
  11. "Amarillo Sky" - Jason Aldean
  12. "DJ's Got Me Groovin" - Grilio featuring Breezy (an AcidPlanet song)
  13. "Boondocks" - Little Big Town (Tyler hates the "you get a line" part at the end of this one)
  14. "Teardrops on my guitar" - Taylor Swift
  15. "Winter Wonderland" - Brad Paisley
  16. "We've had enough" - Michael Jackson
  17. "Life is a highway" - Rascal Flatts (Excellent remake!)
  18. "Forever & Always" - Taylor Swift
  19. "Crazy Train (remix)" - Ozzy Osborne & Madonna (supposedly)
  20. "It's On" - NLT (From "Jump In!" Soundtrack)
  21. "Last Kiss" - Pearl Jam (One of my faves)
  22. "Do you hear what I hear?" - Carrie Underwood
  23. "Dirty Water" - Plowed Under
  24. "There's your trouble" - Dixie Chicks
  25. "First redneck on the internet" - Cledus T Judd
  26. "Kryptonite" - 3 Doors Down (Would you still call me Superman?)
  27. "Hoedown Throwdown" - Miley Cyrus
  28. "A memory" - Hannah Blaylock & Eden's Edge (WAHOO! Arky girl goin big time these days!)
  29. "In the back" - Michael Jackson
  30. "Fun Time" - Bruce Willis (Yeah, THAT Bruce Willis - Die Hard, etc)
  31. "Hard Workin Man" - Brooks & Dunn (the duo formerly known as)
  32. "Dont stop til you get enough" - Michael Jackson
  33. "She Came Down" - Kat Jimenez
  34. "Rock me Amadeus" - Falco (I still have no idea what the German words are)
  35. "I'm Already There" - Lonestar (Not the one with the Schwartz)
  36. "Coca-Cola Theme (remix)" - Yes, the commercials remixed into a 4:30 song!
  37. "Push it to the limit" - Corbin Bleu
  38. "I dont think about it" - Emily Osment (Yes, even bubblegum music makes it on here)
  39. "Time of your life" - Green Day
  40. "Dream" - Miley Cyrus
 Not quite as varied as I thought it would be.  Then again, with more than 100 Michael Jackson songs alone, it is easy to see why he ended up in the list so many times.  At the time of this post, I have nearly 450 songs loaded.  I recently pared down my tunes, cutting out almost all the Christmas music and I am about to load in about 500 more songs that I want to add to the mix.  Who knows what will come up next time.

Jan 19, 2010

Daily Photo (Big Green Tractor)

Goin' for a ride in my (father-in-law's) big, green tractor

One of the folks in my PLN asked people to post interesting pictures of transportation.  I had originally wanted to take some uber-cool, geeked out photo of my Charger.  But by the time I got to work, I had long forgotten all about it.  When I got home and revisited posts from the day, I grabbed the camera and walked next door.  I didn't want some run-of-the-mill side shot, of course!  And, yes, I have driven it. Twice.  I have not been asked to drive it again. Yet.

Jan 18, 2010

Daily Photo (Golden Arch)

07/05/2007 - One of my favorite photos

In 2007, we took our family vacation in St. Louis, MO.  This shot was taken while riding a tour boat down the river.  As we traveled along, I watched the sun climb higher and start to center itself above the arch.  I couldn't believe it!  I snapped this, and it has become one of my all-time favorites.  The city skyline, the arch, the sun.

Jan 17, 2010

Daily Photo (Hannah Blaylock and Eden's Edge)

Hannah Blaylock (far right) with Eden's Edge

This picture was taken in 2007 in Hope, AR.  Hannah and some of the members of the band were performing their last concert before heading to Nashville to pursue the future of their musical careers.  I've been a fan of HBEE for several years now (before the time of this photo, even), having seen/heard them perform at some conference I was attending.  I was hooked from the very first note!  They have a great "down home" sound and their latest stuff is even more refined and as great as ever!

You can find one of their albums on iTunes and you can find a free sample of their latest songs here: https://www.noisetrade.com/edensedge#!!

Jan 16, 2010

Daily Photo (Say CAKE!)

Today was my nephew Samuel's 1st birthday party!

  We had a GREAT time in Little Rock, spending the day with Samuel and his parents, friends and family for his FIRST YEAR birthday party!  As you can see, he enjoyed his cake!  I don't know how many pictures were taken in total, but Shan and I took about 80 alone.  Here are some of my favorites:


Jan 15, 2010

Daily Photo (Fruity Effects)

Emily shows off effects of fruit roll-up

Emily asked if I had posted my daily photo for today.  I had not, so she asked if we could use her TONGUE as the picture of the day!  Well, of course we can!

Jan 14, 2010

HTC Touch Pro and Crashing the server

Are you having trouble getting your HTC Touch Pro (or other Windows Mobile Phone) to charge when you plug it in to a USB cable?  I was, and I was getting pretty sick of it.  I searched online for an answer, but came up empty.  I did the what I should have done in the first place: check the settings.

In SETTINGS > SYSTEM > POWER, I had an option that reads, "When the device is turned on, do not charge the battery when connected to the PC."

In my case, the option was CHECKED, meaning that the phone would NOT charged when plugged into a USB port. So, I UNCHECKED the box.

Why is this even an option!?  Who wouldn't want their phone to charge while it was plugged in?  Hmm, I'd like to hear some feedback on that one.

I tried a new backup technique at work on Wednesday night.  The backup started at 9:00pm.  According to the event logs, at approximately 9:03pm, something went horribly wrong.  Of course, I didn't know this until this morning.  It turns out the server had been booting and rebooting all night long. Ouch.  Scratch that backup plan.  I believe the issue was related to the USB hard drive I plugged in.  Turns out the server only has USB 1.0 connections.  OY.

I am sure I've got other thoughts running around in my head.  For example, I need to share with you the story of my experience installing Phoebe's LiveScribe on her new Windows 7 machine.  I called tech support because all of the audio files that had been attached to previous recording sessions no longer seemed to exist after the upgrade.

The tech support person said the problem was that I had upgraded the pen's firmware and I needed to downgrade in order to get the previous files off the old computer then transfer them to the new one.  I took her at her word and she emailed me a link.  The link took me to the NEW firmware that I already had on the pen.  Confused, I turned to resources online.  As I pondered and puzzled, John suggested I roll back the computer using System Restore.  That helped bring back the connection between the audio files and the PDF writing from the pen.  Of course, it also brought back the old version of the software.

I followed steps I found online, moving from 1.6 to 1.7 to 2.03 (or whatever is current).  1.6 > 1.7 went fine - all files in tact.  1.7 > 2.03 - oops, disconnect.  After some more searching, I called tech support.  This time, the guy told me that I needed to follow a series of steps that he would email me.  The steps addressed an issue where no audio files were being transferred from the pen to the computer.  Well, I followed them, even though the files (new files) were transferring fine.  After the transfer, I had new audio files but the previously existing ones (pages 1-64) were disconnected again.  Go figure.

After poking around the 'net, the LiveScribe site had a simple little line in one of it's release notes documents: A known issue reports that previously transferred audio files became disconnected from their pages after the upgrade to 2.0x.  A known, unresolved issue.  Had I known that, I could have saved myself nearly a day's worth of time.

So, if you have a LiveScribe Pen and have moved to Windows 7, let me know if your old audio files are disconnected from their PDF pages.  Or better yet, let me know if they are still connected!  I'd love to know the steps yo took to preserve the information.

Daily Photo (That time of year)

I got my W2 today...

Jan 13, 2010

Daily Photo (Crafty Drawer)

A drawer I made for Shan a few years ago.

A few years ago, I had trouble deciding what "unique" item I wanted to get for Shan (a teacher) for her birthday.  For whatever reason, my vehicle ended up at Michael's craft store.  As I looked around, an idea came to me: I coud MAKE her a gift!  I found all the little trinkets around the store - some in scrapbooking, some in doll houses, some I have no recollection.  Shan's "favorite" piece is the teacher bag with the books coming out of it.  I didn't want to just "stick stuff" in the sections, but rather I wanted the drawer to reach out, to make the onlooker want to explore and discover the different nooks and crannies.  Near the top, the two "books" stacked on each other (we see the bottom edge in this photo) are mini "Big Chief" notebooks!  Talk about childhood memories.

Jan 12, 2010

Daily Photo (This Old Place)

"This old place" is located between Hope, AR and Lewisville, AR on Hwy 29S

I had to make a trip to Lower Arkansas today (affectionately referred to as LA here), and everytime I make the trip, I pass by this place and tel myself that "one day I will stop and take pictures."  Well, since I'm doing the 365 pictures thing, I thought it would be a great day for it.  I love run-down (er, rustic) homes and barns and always have.  Something about a connection to the past or something, I'm sure.  For good measure, I also took a couple more:


Jan 11, 2010

Daily Photo (Really Goin' Green - DandR-style!)

We received our Dinosaurs and Rockets shirts today!!

The shirts you see us wearing are LIMITED EDITION, 1st run prints for the amazing science show at www.dinosaursandrockets.com!  They do have a few left, so if you want to have as much fun as we are, run over to their site and look for the BIG NEWS section on the right to get yours!  Wanna see more?  Check out these pics:

And one "serious" photo because can behave when we need to:

Jan 10, 2010

Daily Photo (Emily is camera shy)

Emily hates having her picture taken... Can you tell?

This picture is one of several taken within a few minutes of each other.  At Halloween, she "borrowed" my Michael Jackson costume hat and told me to take her picture.  It's too bad I can never get her to pose for anything... I am beginning to understand why Howie G of "Dinosaurs and Rockets" fame calls her "The Divine Miss Em..." (More pictures from the 'photo shoot' are below)